In certain ways, Elijah, 6, is like any other child his age. He cries when he’s upset, he laughs when he’s having fun and attends grade one with other 6-year-old boys and girls. But only a year ago, he had difficulty expressing himself in these ways. At first glance today, you might not notice that Elijah struggles with epilepsy.
For nearly five years, Elijah was in and out of SickKids for tests, procedures and admissions. He was having up to six epileptic seizures per day. Since every case of epilepsy is different, he was constantly trying new prescriptions, combinations of medications and special diets. One medication was particularly effective, but caused significant side effects, including lowering his immune system.
Managing his seizures and reducing side effects from medications was a constant balancing act.
Running out of options, Elijah’s parents made the difficult decision for Elijah to have surgery to remove the portion of his brain controlling the seizure activity. The area was identified through advanced brain imaging techniques at SickKids.
Elijah had surgery in September 2010. His alertness and motor skills improved immediately and he has had an impressive reduction in seizures since then. Once completely nonverbal, Elijah is now starting to learn simple words and communicate through actions – neither of which he could do before surgery.
Although Elijah still has far to go before catching up to his peers, his family is optimistic he will continue to make progress. They look forward to a happy, healthy future with Elijah and his older siblings, Miriah and Isaiah, which they hope will one day be seizure-free.